Thursday, August 21, 2008

"God D*mn Brewery!"

Ok, before any complaints roll in ... it's a quote from Beerfest, get over it. ;)

The reason for this title is because of an incident that occured on 8/13/08 at our house. We had visited Vintage Cellar up in Blacksburg, Va that day (well worth the visit, as always!!) and picked up a selection of beers for tasting. Brought them home, put them in the fridge, and eagerly awaited till after bed-time for the kids so we could begin our tasting.
We were standing in the kitchen with Justin in front of the fridge, holding a beer, when suddenly the beer exploded. He wasn't trying to open it or anything like that - the damn thing just exploded. Luckily he wasn't badly injured, but it did put a nice little cut in his leg.

Here is a, somewhat, close-up photo of the exploded beer. There were shards of glass across the width of our kitchen, with beer splattered and spilled over 10' in one direction and a good 6' out from the fridge. The beer that blew was a Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Block Brewing Co. out of Detroit, Michigan.
We immediately called the brewery, though it took a couple days (and several more phone calls) before Mark Reith, the owner, bothered to call us back. He acted barely sympathetic and tried to blame the distributor, Hop & Wine out of Sterling, Va, as well as the store for not having the beers refridgerated (even though they were in a building with AC, and then went into our fridge), and for not rotating product (even though how accurately you could do that since there are no dates of production on the bottles is a good question). I told him I wanted his insurance info so that we could give him the bill from the resulting doctor's visit. He actually tried to tell me that he doubted they (Atwater) would be responsible for the bill, but that IF I wanted to send him a copy he would "make sure it gets forwarded to the proper people."
We have since found out that our incident is far from being an isolated incident (despite Mr. Reith's claims) and that two people were severly injured on Aug. 2, 2008 up in Michigan. This has become a hot-topic on ~ here is the direct link:
While we support small breweries & the entire art of craft-brewed beers, it is the fact that Mr. Reith accepts no responsibilty, even though there is obviously a problem with their brewing & bottling methods, and shows little-to-no concern or care for his customers health and well-being. In doing so he also shows that lack of concern for the trade of craft-brewed beers in general.
To craft brew beer is an act of love. You must love beer, you must love what makes good beer good, you must be willing to show that love and dedicated not only to your beer but to the entire craft/micro-brewed trade. Mr. Reith, where is your love???

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